Notes on the Proclamation of Neutrality, [12 May 1793]

Notes on the Proclamation of Neutrality

When the question was whether the proclamation of Apr.1 22 should be issued, E. R. observed that there should be a letter written by me to the ministers of the belligerent powers to declare that it should not be taken as conclusive evidence against our citizens in foreign courts of Admiralty for contraband goods.—Knox suddenly adopted the opinion before Hamilton delivered his. Hamilton opposed it pretty strongly. I thought it an indifferent thing but rather2 approved E.R.'s opinion. The President was against it: but observed that as were three for it,3 it should go. This was the first instance I had seen of an opportunity to decide by a mere majority including his own vote.

MS (DLC); entirely in TJ's hand; undated, but probably set down on 12 May 1793 with Note on the Public Debt of that date (Entry 411); written on same sheet as that note, Notes on Alexander Hamilton and the Enforcement of Neutrality, 6 May 1793 (Entry 408), and Notes on the Sinking Fund, 7 May 1793 (Entry 409).

  1. Reworked from “Mar.”
  2. TJ here canceled “joined E.”
  3. TJ here canceled “he should.”